Police have shot a knife-wielding man after three people were stabbed in Melbourne's Bourke Street.
- A person has died and two others have been injured in the attack
- Witnesses say officers tried to subdue the knifeman after a car burst into flames
- Police shot the knifeman in the chest and he is in a critical condition
One of the stabbing victims died at the scene while two are in hospital.
Police shot the man in the chest after he charged at them with the knife.
He is under guard in hospital in a critical condition.
Witnesses told the ABC a car sped down Bourke Street and crashed after missing a tram.
Video taken by witnesses shows a car on fire in the area and bystanders using a shopping trolley and chair to confront the attacker.
The video shows the man attempting to slash police officers with a large knife before falling to the ground.
One witness said the driver got out of the car and threw "something like a bomb" inside before it erupted into flames.
An eyewitness said someone walked up to the alleged driver and was stabbed directly in the chest.
Witnesses said the man began randomly stabbing people in the street. Two police officers were on the scene quickly and confronted the man.
Victoria Police said a bomb response unit had been called to the area and was currently making the scene safe.
Police said there was no known link to terrorism.
Victoria Police Superintendent David Clayton said when police arrived at the scene they were confronted by a man brandishing a knife and threatening them.
"At the same time, passers-by were calling out that members of the public had been stabbed.
"Police shot the male in the chest and he is now in a critical condition in hospital," Superintendent Clayton said, adding the officers are OK.
In a later statement, police said the man assaulted police, fled on foot, then was shot while lunging at police with the knife.
Officers said they were initially called to a car fire around 4:20pm (AEDT).
External Link: Meegan May tweets: Chaos in #bourkest as a guy seems to have set his car on fire then attacked police with a knife. Police response was swift and overwhelming. I heard at least one gunshot initially.
The Metropolitan Fire Brigade said the fire was contained within 10 minutes.
A caller to ABC Radio Melbourne, Meegan, said she saw the incident from a tram.
She said she saw two policemen trying to subdue a man as a car burned.
"He seemed to be waving something, people around me screamed that he had a knife, but I couldn't see clearly from where I was," she said.
"And then I heard one loud bang. It sounded like a gunshot.
"And someone said they could see someone doing chest compressions on someone as an ambulance started coming up the street."
Another witness, Markel, told ABC Radio Melbourne he ran out of the store he was working in after hearing there was a fire and found himself next to an injured man.
"Turned out there was an old man in front of me, literally by my feet. He was facedown, facedown, and there was a lot of blood," he said.
"I was already stepping on his blood.
"There was a lot of bystanders trying to help him out. They didn't know what to do because obviously in that situation it is pretty crazy."
Markel said bystanders were yelling out "just shoot him, just shoot him," while police officers were trying to disarm the attacker.
Police are asking members of the public to avoid the area.
"Anyone with information or who witnessed the incident is asked to go to Melbourne West Police Station to make a statement," a police statement said.
Trams are not running along Bourke Street or Swanston Street in either direction.
Premier Daniel Andrews tweeted, urging people to avoid the area and follow the instructions of emergency services personnel.
Opposition Leader Matthew Guy tweeted:
"Today, more than ever, we offer our thanks to Police and first responders for the unbelievable work they do for all of us."
China deploys anti-ship missiles in the desert making them harder to intercept
Beijing has announced it has deployed intermediate ballistic missiles to the country's north-we..
Beijing has announced it has deployed intermediate ballistic missiles to the country's north-west region, saying the weapons have the capacity to destroy US ships entering disputed waters in the South China Sea.
- The missiles can fire long distances and would be difficult for US ships to shoot down
- Defence strategy expert Dr Malcom Davis said the move means China can back up its threats
- The news came after a US guided missile destroyer passed through the South China Sea
The DF-26 missiles — which have been previously dubbed the 'Guam Killer' or 'Guam Express' by Chinese media and defence experts — are capable of carrying conventional or nuclear warheads.
They have a range of 4,500 kilometres, making them capable of reaching as far as Guam in the east and Indonesia in the south, providing Beijing with a powerful weapon as tensions continue to rise in the South China Sea.
According to Chinese state media publication The Global Times, the DF-26 missiles are now stationed in north-west China's sparse plateau and desert areas, carried on the backs of trucks able to traverse the harsh terrain.
Speaking on condition of anonymity, a Beijing-based military expert told the Times that positioning the missiles deep in China's mainland made them more difficult to intercept as it allowed the missile to enter its final stages at a high speed.
Footage on CCTV showed trucks carrying the missiles driving through rough terrain and sand dunes.
The missiles were first paraded in 2015 and China confirmed they were now operational in April last year, but this is the first footage of the missiles outside of a parade.
It is unclear when the missiles were moved to the northwest region, the Times reported. (more…)
Melbourne driver who cheated death when sign fell on car in no rush to drive again
Related Story: Dashcam footage shows moment car was crushed by falling freeway sign
The Melbourne ..
The Melbourne driver who cheated death when an overhead road sign fell and crushed her car says she cannot believe such an accident could happen in Australia.
- A second sign on the Tullamarine Freeway has been taken down as a precautionary measure
- An inspection of similar-sized sign and gantries is underway
- VicRoads says an independent investigator has been brought in to determine what happened
Extraordinary dashcam footage shows the moment the five-by-four metre sign fell in front of, and then on top of, Nella Lettieri's car as she was travelling on Melbourne's Tullamarine Freeway earlier this week.
While the 53-year-old was not seriously injured, she is bruised and battered — and wondering how she is still alive.
"It felt like a roller door had slammed shut in front of me," Ms Lettieri said.
"I've gone to swerve, but as I swerved, it just felt like the sign was actually falling on the car.
"And it just kept bouncing, and I felt like it was pushing me to the right, and I'm thinking, 'OK, is it going to stop?'"
She thought the metal object may have been from a plane landing or taking off from the nearby Essendon Airport, or from a truck on the freeway.
But she was shocked to discover it was actually an overhead sign, meant to be directing drivers to their destination. (more…)
In his Brexit speech in Wakefield, Jeremy Corbyn again demanded the impossible
Speaking in Wakefield this morning, Jeremy Corbyn restated his demand for a solution to the Brexit i..
Speaking in Wakefield this morning, Jeremy Corbyn restated his demand for a solution to the Brexit impasse that appears effectively impossible: a general election.
In what is likely to be his last major public statement before MPs vote on the withdrawal agreement next Tuesday, he attempted to redefine the terms of the question facing both the Labour leadership and its MPs – from those that threaten to stretch his fissiparous electoral coalition to breaking point, to those which, on paper, unite it.
That resulted in a speech whose thrust was an appeal to class consciousness from Remainers in Tottenham and Leavers in Mansfield, rather than any meaningful debate over the validity or viability of Brexit itself. “Youre up against it,” Corbyn said, citing austerity, stagnant wages, and the cost of living crisis, “but youre not against each other.”
Accordingly, his cursory repetition of Labours policy – that a second referendum should remain on the table as an option in the event a general election does not happen – came with a caveat so huge that it amounted to an implicit dismissal of a so-called peoples vote. “Any political leader who wants to bring the country together cannot wish away the votes of 17 million people who wanted to leave, any more than they can ignore the concerns of the 16 million who voted to remain.”
But despite the fact that his attention was more or less exclusively focussed on the question of what sort of future relationship with Europe would negotiate – with the fact of the divorce undisputed – Corbyn categorically ruled out doing anything but whipping his MPs to vote against the withdrawal agreement. The vast majority of them will do so on Thursday, after which point Corbyn said, as expected, that Labour would table a motion of no confidence in the hope of securing an election and with it the chance to renegotiate Brexit (rather than, say, holding a second referendum).
Notably, however, he did not specify a timescale for tabling a confidence vote after Mays deal falls – despite several of his shadow cabinet ministers insisting that he would do so “immediately”. He instead put on the record the more cautious line briefed by his team yesterday: “Labour will table a motion of no confidence in the government at the moment we judge it to have the best chance of success.”
That statement of intent was followed with a caveat seldom offered by shadow cabinet ministers sent out to spin the partys line on Brexit. “Clearly,” Corbyn said, “Labour does not have enough MPs in parliament to win a confidence vote on its own.” As he himself alluded to when he urged opposition MPs to join Labour in voting against the government, Labours chances remain slim until such time that the ten DUP MPs drop the government. (That every other party will is a racing certainty.) Paradoxically, the defeat of the withdrawal agreement – and with it the backstop Mays sometime coalition partners object to – will make that chance even slimmer.
We know from what Corbyn said this morning that the Labour leadership will not whip its MPs to approve Theresa Mays Brexit, back a second referendum out of choice – both courses threaten its electoral base in different ways – or support any attempt by Downing Street to make the Brexit deal more amenable to Labour MPs by tacking on guarantees on workers rights. That strategy has held until now.
But failure to roll the pitch for any alternative at all – or, indeed, for the inevitable breakdown in party discipline after Mays vote is defeated and Labour has no way to bind MPs who seek mutually exclusive Brexit aims – will make the messy politics of the aftermath of next Tuesday rather more difficult to finesse.
Patrick Maguire is the New Statesman's political correspondent. (more…)
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